Since leaving the corporate world in October, the Universe has presented multiple opportunities for me to be of service to my beloved community. On one hand, I wish that no one in my sacred circle had cause for suffering or need for support through the struggle of poor health or hardship, but on the other hand… I am so very grateful that this moment of freedom has allowed me the ability to be completely present.
The last several years in the working world were filled with traumatic change and overwhelming grief. Survival was no easy task for an empath. I recall having a friend in need for whom I could not be wholly present, because at the end of the day… I had nothing left to give. I feel as if the Universe is giving me the opportunity to rebuild the karma of those lost opportunities through this sabbatical.
In the book I am writing, I begin with an explanation of what brought me to the path of studying to become an end of life doula. That story begins with what leaving a toxic workplace gifted me… it gave me the world! And best of all, it presented me with a sense of purpose. I never really knew what I was meant to do with my life, the way that some people seem to graduate high school with a final destination in mind for college and career. My mom chose my electives in school, which included typing and word processing, so that I would have ‘something to fall back on’, and so… I fell into secretarial work, when I decided the hospitality industry (you know, because I’m a people person) wouldn’t offer me a 9 to 5 job with weekends off.
But I was lucky in that regard, you know… in settling. A friend shared my typing speed with the manager of the processing department where she worked, and they asked me to come in, and I was immediately hired. Within a year or so, a secretarial position opened and I was promoted. It was in that role that I was blessed to support someone who could see my light, and she nurtured my growth as my mentor for ten years, until the Universe guided me to what was next. That particular bit of guidance is a different story, entirely! But where it led me was to support someone who seemed to really need my particular energy and light. He had worked with five assistants in nine years when the planets aligned to bring us together. Sometimes I think that what he needed most was kindness, compassion, patience, and a smile that would inform him that everything would be okay. He was under enormous pressure, some of which was self-generated. I did see the side of him that made the others seek other work, but we worked through it. I would ask if he was okay, and he would say, “I’m not sharing my stress am I, because I don’t mean to.” And at the end of each day he would say, “Melissa! Thank you for a great day!” That made everything worth it. We were together eight and a half years until he retired. I was blessed to work with his chosen successor until her retirement, six years later. She was a tiny woman with a powerful mind and a giant heart. My blood pressure normalized during those years. She suffered weekly migraines during the last couple of years, and I was there with honey-tea, with ice pack, and reminded her to put down what was stressing her soul and to feed her body. I introduced her to a friend who commented to her about how positively I speak of her, and her reply was, “Oh, Mel and I just love each other.” That’s not often heard in the corporate world, but I was blessed to have that. I remain in touch with these three beloved work partners to this day. I wonder if I was happy there for so long because they each allowed me to utilize my strengths to serve them. I provided a little something that eased the stress of whatever they were dealing with. In a way, I think I was holding space for them to do their work.
Now free from the enormous stress of a corporation, these days more beholden to shareholders than to their employees and the communities they serve, I have the opportunity to hold space… to bring comfort and support healing. This is where my future lies.
During these days of freedom, I have been able to spend a magickal day with a beautiful friend who showed me what grace looks like at the end of life. I have been the communications director for another friend at the beginning of her cancer journey, and only five minutes away, remain on-call for her assistance through chemotherapy and recovery. I have been patient advocate and wheelchair maiden to dear friends, who are life-long support to one another, but are both facing health issues at the same time. I’ve been able to be more present for my parents who are slowing down and needing a little more support these days. Since my brother lives a few hours away, I’ve even been learning the art of PC and Tablet support, skills which may elude your average 80 year old. And after the death of my beautiful friend, I was able to hold space for the healing of her heartbroken wife. As I said, I wish that dear ones had no need of my presence in these ways, but I am grateful and heart-filled to have had the freedom and ability to serve.
Tonight I am working with a friend to bring expressive arts to a group of women in her circle. The goal is to release what no longer serves us, and with burdens lifted to put focused energy into the art of manifesting the future we each desire. A year ago, I was fearful of what life might look like without the burden of a job that I no longer loved. As I look back at that time, I fear what I would have missed if nothing had changed. It’s funny how perspective can be altered just by looking at something from a different level. Spiral in… spiral out.
Thanks for walking this labyrinth with me, dear ones. May all of your burdens be lifted, and may all of your hopes and dreams be made manifest with grace and ease.
(photo found on pinterest w/o credit)